The Top 6 Things Public Servants Need to Know About City Travel Paid for by a Third Party


Public servants may solicit and accept travel-related expenses from third parties if:

1. The trip has a City purpose. To make this determination, the public servant must submit a detailed itinerary, including any incidental personal travel, to obtain agency head approval in advance of the trip.

2. The travel arrangements are comparable to travel paid for by the City. For instance, a third party cannot pay for a public servant to fly first class or to stay in a luxury hotel suite.

3. The trip cannot be longer than reasonably necessary to accomplish the City purpose. To extend a City business trip for incidental personal travel, the public servant must pay for any additional travel expenses, such as any additional nights at a hotel or an increased airfare.

4. If an elected official and their staff are on a City trip that includes political activities, the elected official and their staff can accept from a third party only the proportion of costs to cover the time spent on City government business.

5. A public servant may ask a third party to pay for their City travel expenses, so long as that the public servant is not involved in the third party’s City business dealings and the public servant informs the third party that the gift will not affect any business dealings with the City or provide special access to City officials.

6. Public servants who are required to file annual financial disclosures must report City travel expenses of $1,000 or more that are paid by any person or entity other than a local, state, or federal government or their agencies.


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